What problem does VideoWorkLink solve?

Slack Technologies’ office in San Francisco. Many startups, including Slack, love open office plan like the one shown on the photo above. Do you know why? Because of the possibility for spontaneous communication.

Lack of spontaneous communication in teams scattered over different locations (rooms, offices, cities, countries) is the problem that you need to solve in order for your team to be a single cohesive unit.

A scattered team is like a network of isolated autonomous individuals rather than a connected whole. It is like being in the office where teammates are in separate rooms with doors locked from the inside.

If you want to make a close contact you have to “knock” – make a video-conference call. The other party, of course, must answer it.

It makes spontaneous communication impossible.

Text chat helps, but typing is much slower than talking. Moreover, it is asynchronous – you might not get an immediate answer after you’ve sent a message. Another delay. Chat gets overloaded with messages quite fast and it is hard to keep track.

You could make a video-conference call and leave it always on forever, you would say.

Yes, but video calls are not meant to be left forever. The odds are that you will have high Internet bandwidth consumption, high CPU load. Moreover, anyone will be able to watch you (in High Definition) without you knowing about that. It is like if someone could stare right at your face at a breadth distance without you knowing that.

Would you like to be watched that way? I don’t think so. That is why nobody does that always on video-conferencing thing.

Without spontaneous communication, your process of working together slows down dramatically.

Because the opportunities for spontaneous communication don’t exist, a scattered team have to rely on ad-hoc online meetings or on more formal, scheduled online meetings to get their work done.

However, because organizing meetings takes effort, a lower overall frequency of meetings results. This lower frequency of meetings, in turn, results in less work being done by the collaborators on their joint problems, particularly the problem of refining and coordinating their work plan.

Thus the collaborators are not as timely in giving each other feedback on the directions their joint work should go, and hence they take longer to construct and select among the alternatives that guided the course of their work.

This problem never becomes clear to the participants in the remote collaboration because each meeting seemed productive and useful, and they did not have other, spontaneous contacts that they can use to supplement these meetings.

There are several products on the market for a continuous audio communication, like TeamSpeak, Mumble, Ventrilo, Discord. But having only audio is not enough because it is impossible to know beforehand if a person is present and available.

Also, there are products like Sneek and Nowbridge. Despite possible privacy problems, such products provide a sense of presence and provide a possibility for an instant contact. But they still do not provide the possibility for spontaneous communication, because you still have to make a contact in order to communicate with a teammate via audio.

To this date, VideoWorkLink is the only fully-fledged software on the market created to solve the problem of a lack of spontaneous communication in distributed teams.

It links you up with remote teammates by the means of video for the whole working day. Yet, it does that with respect to your privacy.

Blurred view of a teammate

By default, you are blurred for your teammates. You know when someone unblurs you. You see when someone enters into a close contact with you, and it is done in a smooth slow way, in order for you to prepare for a contact.

A teammate makes a close contact with you.

Spontaneous communication is a key component required for communication in a creative team. For a successful creative process, a team has to have a possibility to instantly exchange ideas and coordinate work.

Among all products present on the market, VideoWorkLink is the only product that has all means necessary for providing a possibility for spontaneous communication to a distributed team.

You can see who is present and available, enter into a close contact with a teammate, talk to all team.

With VideoWorkLink your team will be together no matter the distance between each and every one of you.

VideoWorkLink is available for download

After many months of hard work, the product is finally available for download.

Here how it looks like:

Dear friends, I encourage you to try it out!

Since it is a test release, the product will collect a usage statistics and record audio & video feeds. Since your audio feed will be recorded, you can say what you think about the product right into the microphone. You will be heard, and your words will be taken into consideration. Your thoughts and ideas are very welcomed!

Please, feel free to check out the product that is absolutely unique on the market!

In all sincerity,
Oleg I. Galkin

5 years have passed…

As you can see, the previous post dated 2012, and there was nothing published after that for 5 years. What happened, you might ask?

The project wasn’t dead all these years, quite contrary, under the surface, it was very much alive.

I have done a lot of work in the last 5 years.

What was done in the last 5 years?

  • Market research
  • Research of existing patents
  • Study of scientific research on the subject
  • Research & development of the product including:
    • Prototyping and demoing different product designs to potential users
    • Experimentation with different design ideas
    • Product development from scratch
  • Search for potential customers and attempts to sell the idea

Why it took so much time? Well, I have to make my living working on a regular job; I am working on this project on my spare time. Yes, it is a fully bootstrapped project.

What’s next?

  • The product will go live within next few weeks.
  • Every 1 – 2 weeks I will publish an article on the product, its design and idea behind it. It is going to be interesting. A lot of original content with new ideas coming soon.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for updates!

It Feels Like A Real Office With Your Video Workers On iPad Positioned Off To The Side

Dear present and future customers, welcome to VideoWorkLink blog!

This is the first post in VideoWorkLink blog.

In our blog we will write about our product and idea behind it. In this blog we will try to convince you that our approach towards online work is so viable that it can significantly improve the way you work remotely.

Stay with us because we will do our best to give you maximum interesting and useful information about our platform and about future of online work.

In all sincerity,
Oleg I. Galkin
Founder of VideoWorkLink

Julia Camenisch in her blog post described very interesting approach which is in fact can be very suitable for VideoWorkLink users. Here is the excerpt from the article in which an experience with always-on video conferencing is described:

Always-on video conferencing was the partial answer — but there were still a few kinks to work out. “One of the pieces of feedback I received from my team was that they thought it was eerie to use video conferencing software on their computers, because the built-in computer-webcams were focused right on their faces,” she said. “It felt stalkerish.”

So Yin improvised. She had employees position the iPads off to the side. Not only did this solve the continual “Big Brother watching overhead” vibe, but it also felt more natural. With the new arrangement, employees saw each others’ profiles and felt almost like they were sitting side by side. According to Yin, “this resonated with the team.”

Online workers who are working through ‘always-on video conferencing’ are, in fact, users of our platform: Video Workers. So, to have your Video Workers on iPad that is placed near you can be a very beautiful solution which can produce a feeling of a real office as close as possible!